The Object

The object of the game is to place the opponent’s king directly under attack in such a fashion that it could not avoid being captured on the next turn.

Capture is by displacement. A capturing piece moves to a square occupied by an opposing piece and removes that piece from the board. When a piece is captured or taken, the attacking piece replaces the enemy piece on the square the enemy piece had occupied. The captured piece is removed from the game.

In the diagrams, the X’s mark the squares where the piece can move if no other pieces are on the squares between the piece’s initial position and its destination.

Each chess piece has its own style of moving

Initial Setup

In the initial setup, the chessboard is laid out so that each player has a light color square in the bottom right corner.

The second rank nearest each player is filled with pawns.  The rooks go in the corners.

Then the knights go next to them on the ranks nearest the each player, followed by the bishops, and finally the queen, who always goes on a square of her own color ( i.e., the white or light-colored queen goes on a light colored square, and the black or dark colored queen on a dark colored square.) The king goes on the remaining square in that rank (row).  The player with the white pieces always moves first.

The King

The king moves one square in any direction.

The Rook

The rook can move any number of squares along any rank or file, but may not leap over other pieces. Along with the king, the rook participates in the king’s castling move.

The bishop

The bishop can move any number of squares diagonally, but may not leap over other pieces.

The Queen

The queen combines the power of the rook and bishop and can move any number of squares along rank, file, or diagonal, but it may not leap over other pieces.  The queen cannot move like both the rook and the bishop on the same turn.

The Knight

The knight moves to any of the closest squares that are not on the same rank, file, or diagonal, thus the move forms an “L”-shape: two squares ‘vertically’ and then one square horizontally, or two squares horizontally and then one square vertically.

The Pawn

Unlike other pieces, a pawn cannot move backwards.

When not making a capture, a pawn:

  • may move forward one square immediately in front of it on the same file; or
  • on its first turn, may advance two squares along the same file (black “x”s in the diagram) provided both squares are unoccupied, if the player prefers.
  • Unlike other pieces, however, the pawn does not capture in the manner in which it normally moves.  It normally moves straight forward, but it captures diagonally. A pawn may capture an opponent’s piece that is on a square diagonally in front of it on an adjacent file.